sketch of farmers market stand

How One Florida City Is Reinventing Itself With UX Design

Make Gainesville the best place to live and work, courtesy of human-centered design ...
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couple walking across street

The Future of Retirement Communities: Walkable and Urban

FEW people in America walk to work. Most of us drive to the supermarket. But more older people these days are looking for a community where they can enjoy a ...
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Project Sidewalk

Despite comprehensive civil rights legislation for Americans with disabilities, many city streets, sidewalks, and businesses in the US remain inaccessible. The problem is not just that sidewalk accessibility fundamentally affects ...
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Plans for Paris's Place Gabetta, with shaded areas showing more space for trees and pedestrians.

More Trees, Fewer Cars for the Central Squares of Paris

Last year, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo promised to makeover seven major Parisian squares. This March, following a public consultation, Paris City Hall came up with the goods, providing detailed plans ...
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before and after photos of streets converted to complete streets

“Smart City” Gives Wings to Ranchi’s Urban Dreams

Ranchi, capital of Jharkand- one of India’s youngest states, is taking incredible strides to transform itself into a livable, healthy, and sustainable city in a very short span of time ...
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The new signs will make a big difference to people who are vision impaired. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)

Sydney launches ‘world’s largest’ braille and tactile network for vision-impaired pedestrians

The world's most comprehensive network of braille and tactile signs to help visually impaired pedestrians has been rolled out across Sydney ...
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inclusive pedestrian wayfinding system

Enabled by design: A way finding system that considers the disabled

A More Inclusive Pedestrian Wayfinding System builds on the existing "Legible London" system to create an enhanced and more user-friendly navigation system ...
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Inaccessible infrastructure makes it hard to get around the city, but wheelchair users such as Abraham Plaza say social stigma is harder to handle. Photograph: Noah Lanard

Mexico City from a wheelchair: ‘There’s no second chance on these streets’

Abraham Plaza is on a mission to break down the countless barriers – physical, mental and social – that make daily life in Mexico City so tough for people with ...
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Seattle’s steep hills can be a significant barrier for a person who uses a wheelchair. (Photo by Rootology)

New App Is Mapping the Accessible City

For Steve Lewis, board president of the Alliance of People with disAbilities, navigating downtown Seattle is an awful experience. He uses a wheelchair, and Seattle’s steep hills can be a ...
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A woman looks at her phone as she waits to cross the road at a set of in-ground traffic lights in Augsburg, Germany

German town introduces in-ground traffic lights for pedestrians glued to their phones

A small city in southern Germany may be the first place in the world to introduce in-ground traffic lights. The move by authorities in Augsburg comes in response to distracted smartphone ...
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close up of hand holding marker over city map

Cambridge Is Working on an Inclusive City Road Map

When a city is drafting a new master plan, putting up some posters suggesting citizens come to a public meeting just isn’t enough. Relying on the input from only those ...
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exterior view of Mashpee Commons

The Next Frontier for Compact Walkability? It’s gotta be the burbs

This weekend in Miami, the Congress for the New Urbanism is staging one of the periodic Councils it uses to focus perspectives and best practices on topics of growing concern ...
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people walking and dining outdoors in hartford on the cover of draft zoning regulations report

A Walkable, Bikeable Future? Hartford Has It

Earlier this month, Hartford unanimously approved its first major zoning overhaul since 1969. The initiative, known as ZoneHartford, has been in the works for two years, and its formal adoption marks a shift ...
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sidewalk that is narrow with broken pavement

The inequality of sidewalks

Pedestrian deaths are much more common in poor neighborhoods in urban America than in wealthier ones, a disparity Governing magazine covered in depth back in 2014. That result stems from a brutal collision of bad ...
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busy streetscape with people and vehicles

Complete Streets Language Part of Winter 2016 Growth Management Project Amendments

This is a major paradigm shift, a fundamental change in the way problems are defined and potential solutions evaluated, from automobile-oriented to multimodal. Complete Streets planning has been widely embraced ...
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step it up banner

Some of the Biggest Problems Sometimes Have the Simplest Solutions

In environmental public health, we often get caught up in looking for complex answers to complex problems. Sometimes we get lucky, though, and a simple solution will serve. The U.S ...
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UB IDeA Center receives $4.6 million federal grant

The University at Buffalo’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center) has received a fourth round of federal funding to continue its work on a wide range of ...
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close up of bike rider wearing a helmet

Mayor Walsh Says Bike-Inclusive ‘Complete Streets’ Will Be Boston’s Default Design

In a speech outlining his desire to see Boston “thinking bigger ideas” and “making bolder plans,” Walsh said he would sign an executive order making Complete Streets—an approach stressing the peaceful coexistence between cars, ...
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concept diagrams from deafspace design guidelines

Designing a City for the Deaf

Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the nation’s leading institution for the deaf and hard of hearing, has published a report outlining what they call DeafSpace Guidelines that help design practitioners ...
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illustration of a complete streets concept with people and bike riders

Complete Streets in Broward

A Complete Street is a street that is inclusive of all users’ needs – no matter their ability, age, or mode of transportation. Complete Streets create more livable communities and ...
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responsive bollard on sidewalk

Quirks & Quarks BlogSparkPhoto Galleries ‘Responsive street furniture’ in cities could boost accessibility

Designer Ross Atkin thinks smart urban fixtures could make life easier for people with disabilities. Blind or disabled people are often required to adapt to the world around them, using aids ...
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curbcut and crosswalk

Complete streets with inclusive design: What it’s like to navigate the city in a wheelchair

Strong towns must also be inclusive towns, communities that welcome everyone. Places where people of all abilities can live, work, and get around. Rights of way that are safe and ...
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complete streets project concept illustration in north lauderdale

North Lauderdale explores complete-streets concept

North Lauderdale has joined a growing list of cities that have realized that a right of way should be designed for more than just vehicular traffic. At a recent workshop, ...
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adult and older adult shoppers at the entrance of supermarket

The Amazing Village in The Netherlands Just for People with Dementia

Located in The Netherlands town of Weesp is a special gated village called Hogeweyk. It is notable because it has been designed specifically as a pioneering care facility for elderly ...
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a tram in strasbourg, france

What France Can Teach U.S. Cities About Transit Design

It will be a long time until Americans are comfortable enough with sexual innuendo to appropriate that term. But there's an awful lot that U.S. cities should learn as soon ...
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people on swingset

How to design communities that make residents fitter and healthier

The design of neighbourhoods, offices and green spaces can help to encourage physical activity and combat obesity ...
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illustration of features of an inclusive town

The city that could help people with AUTISM: Planner designs urban hub to make transport, jobs and public spaces more inclusive for her brother

Finding your way around a bustling city can be difficult – and it can be even trickier if you suffer from autism. The condition affects people in a variety of ...
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person riding bike in a complete streets setting

Complete Streets Toolkit

GO TO 2040 recognizes the need for a modern, efficient transportation system to support the growth, diversity, and prosperity of the region.  To help achieve this, the plan recommends policies, ...
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three older men sitting on a bench conversing

Time to Think Differently

Edward Steinfeld, AIA and Director of the IDeA Center, wrote a fantastic article for the American Architectural Foundation about the need for age-friendly community design. Steinfeld argues that the creation ...
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justin jones speaking at a policy event

Complete Streets Policy Adds to Momentum in Hamilton

On June 26, the SPRC hosted a policy event to gather feedback about a draft Complete Streets policy for Hamilton. The success of this event is one of many indicators ...
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people walking in street india

Right to Walk in Chennai, India

Universally Designed cities need to be walkable cities, where pedestrians can easily and safely access goods, services and social actives. Unfortunately, many cities were not designed this way. The Hindu, ...
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logo of city of new orleans department of public works

The City of New Orleans Drafting a Public Right-of-Way Transition Plan

The city of New Orleans is drafting a public right-of-way transition plan that will provide a blueprint for addressing accessibility needs for people with disabilities, and will establish priorities to ...
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older man playing violin for children

Future Communities Must be Sustainable and UD

We came across a great post on the American Architectual Foundation's website that not only outlines the importance of Universal Design and visitability, but also explores their relationship to sustainable ...
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close up of person in wheelchair pointing near flowers

Color-Coded Accessibility Map

The disAbilities Resource Centre in Queenstown, Australia has created a color-coded map detailing the accessibility of the streets and footpaths in the area. The map can act as a guide ...
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close up of book on top of a site planning map

Can Re-Zoning Save the Suburbs

Aaron Murphy, of the website Empowering the Mature Mind, has written a great piece about how re-zoning and creative thinking is needed to restructure our communities to be more age ...
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children playing soccer in a courtyard

Urban Lighting System

We often focus on mobility concerns when thinking about Universal Design, but perceptual concerns, like lighting, are just as important. Tom Jarvis, a Research Associate at the Helen Hamlyn Centre ...
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close up of flag of nunavut in canada

New Canadian Accessibility Council

The capital city of Nunavut Canada has recently announced the possibility of a Canadian Accessibility Council being formed next year. The committee would assess accessibility issues within current and future ...
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Stairs with an integrated wheelchair access ramp

Ramps Blended into Stairs

Pictures of ramps incorporated into stairs have been gaining some attention on architecture and design blogs. While some of these designs are indeed beautiful to look at, they tend to ...
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black and white photo of a latrine in india on ground floor

Access to Indian Latrines Studied

Indian latrines are toilets that require people to squat to use. Unfortunately there are no accessible standards for Indian latrines and older people and people with disabilities are greatly handicapped ...
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closeup of woman legs at crosswalk

Timed Traffic Crosswalks Too Fast for Many Elderly: Study

A new British study published June 14 in the journal Age and Ageing found that the time given by automated crosswalks is often insufficient to allow older adults to cross ...
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a vision rendering of a complete street in morrow georgia

What Is a Complete Street?

You may have heard this term before but not understood what it means or how it affects us as we age. A complete street is one that accommodates all people ...
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people walking and wheeling in a park

Turkey’s Changemakers: They Hit the Streets for an Accessible City

A television show in Turkey devoted a recent episode to the issue of accessibility on a citywide scale. "Turkey's Changemakers" focused on an organization known as "Open Istanbul!" and how ...
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two children riding on bikes

Complete Streets: It’s About More Than Just Bike Lanes

Over the last four years, New York City has seen a transportation renaissance on its streets, striking a better balance by providing more space for walking, biking, and transit ...
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streetscape with separate lanes for bikes and cars

Livable Communities: What Good is a UD Home if You Can’t Leave the House?

As Amy Levner, AARP's manager of education on livable communities, explains, "Universally Designed houses and livable communities must be  connected. Universally designed houses enhance mobility and quality of life inside ...
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elderly woman sitting and a girl walking on a stairway

The 8 to 80 Problem: Designing Cities for Young and Old

The non-profit organization 8-80 Cities based in Toronto focuses their efforts on providing solutions for cities to make it accessible to people of all ages. They determine whether a specific ...
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illustration of indianapolis's multimodal corridor and public space design guidelines

Streets as Places: A Way to Fully Complete Streets

The “complete streets” movement has taken the United States by storm, and has even taken root in countries such as Canada and Australia. Few movements have done so much to ...
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RUSSIA: Sochi Without Barriers

From the July 2011 Universal Design Newsletter By: Elaine Ostroff, Hon. AIA, founding director of the Institute for Human Centered Design Late in 2010, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and ...
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aia logo

Design Tips for an Age-Friendly City

These tips from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects can help urban planners and policy makers understand how to design a city to be better able ...
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street full of pedestrians on shared street in Brugge, Belgium

Streets are People Places

I have a favorite saying about transportation: “If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people ...
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person walking in a hallway with others siting the background
Recreation: A younger gentleman walking with an older man in the park
Public Buildings: aerial view of city buildings
Streets: people crossing an intersection
Housing: exterior view of a suburban house
Transportation: close up of dangling handles on a bus